Feel like you’ve been hibernating all winter? Well spring is here! It’s time to shed the layers and start enjoying the warmer weather and all that spring has to offer. Here are some ways to help your body naturally adapt to the new season.
1. Shift your diet from warming foods to cooling foods. In Chinese medicine, foods have either warming or cooling properties. Heavier carbohydrate foods, like potatoes and squash, that most of us enjoyed during the winter helped keep us warm. But now we want to cool off.
Instead, eat cool and refreshing salads. Try to incorporate at least five different colors in every salad that you make. This can mean adding in foods that are different shades of green, bright-red tomatoes, orange carrots or purple beets. Be as creative as you want here.
2. Drink green tea to help support your body’s natural metabolism.* Researchers have seen benefits with green tea’s ability to support a healthy cardiovascular system, and it may also help support healthy metabolism for those eating a well-balanced diet and getting the proper amount of exercise.* The other benefit of green tea is that it’s chock full of polyphenols, with are antioxidants.* Green does contain some caffeine, which will give you a bit more energy, so be careful not to drink more than a cup a day if sensitive to the stimulating effects of caffeine. Alternatively, you can take green tea in capsule form.
3. Get a move on! Greet the day with some morning movement. Get out and watch the sunrise, and build up a sweat. Or, end your day with a stress-reducing yoga or pilates class. Give your body the gift of movement to help you burn calories, stimulate circulation and support feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin.
4. Increase your fiber intake. Fiber is a wonderful substance that can fill you up while also supporting healthy digestion and blood sugar levels already within normal range.* In addition, fiber supports bowel regularity, a major bonus when it comes to sweeping away unwanted substances from your body.* You add extra fiber to your diet by eating more apples, whole grains and greens or, you can take fiber supplements. Chia seeds are well tolerated by most people and they are a good source of omega-3 fats. Add them to smoothies, sprinkle on your morning cereal, or just in mix in water and drink.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.